Clayton Kershaw was the starting pitcher, and because he only went two innings in the “rain” game in Cleveland, Roberts said he would be limited to 5.0 IP and 75 pitches. He got through 5.0 IP and 79 pitches. Beginning the game, Clayton was below 50% strikes. However, he did end up with 42 strikes, an underwhelming 53.2%. This was not one of Kersh’s better performances, but it was a gritty outing. He did allow a patented solo HR in his 5.0 IP.
I know there have been comments that the Dodgers are going to be facing good pitching in the playoffs. While very true, for the second straight night, the Dodgers were facing one of the best pitchers in MLB. On Monday, the Dodgers dispatched one of the leading candidate for NL CY award, Zac Gallen. Before Monday’s game, for the month of August, Gallen allowed 6 runs in 31.1 IP. In 5.1 IP, LAD scored 6 runs on 9 hits. He allowed 2 HRs in August, and on Monday, the Dodgers hit 4 HRs.
On Tuesday, the Dodgers faced another top CY candidate, Merrill Kelly. Before Tuesday, Kelly had started 15 games against the Dodgers and has not yet beat them. He didn’t beat them on Tuesday, and is now 0-11. He came into the game with a sub 3.00 ERA. In his last start, he pitched 7.0 scoreless innings on 1-hit against Cincinnati. In 30.1 IP during the month of August, he allowed 7 runs. Last night he got spanked for 7 runs in 5.0 IP. While no HRs against Kelly, he did allow 12 hits.
The Dodgers punched out 16 hits on the game, including 3 from CT3 (2 doubles) and BB on his birthday and Bobblehead night. 3 more from the two old men, Jason Heyward and David Peralta. Their two hits generated 2 RBIs each. In the 6th, Mookie Betts broke his season HR record with his 36th. It was a monster shot off Scott McGough 428’ into the left/center bleachers. 2 batters later, Will Smith hit a moon shot down the left field line for his 17th HR.
Gus Varland relieved Kershaw, and pitched well in his first inning, but was obviously overpitching in his 2nd inning. Newly re-acquired RHRP Tyson Miller relieved Varland with runners on 1st and 2nd. He got a DP and an F-8 to strand both inherited runners. He pitched a second scoreless inning.
Victor González came in the 9th and pitched very well. He has some excellent pitches, but does not have the consistency. All three LHRP have been outstanding, and not good this season. I do not think all three make the playoff roster, but two of Caleb Ferguson, Alex Vesia, and Victor González should make it.
The Dodgers should get one of their relievers back this home-stand. Shelby Miller is due to be returned from his 60 day IL. That means someone from the 40 man is going to move to the 60 day or get DFA’d. Yency Almonte’s knee is not responding. He is a potential 60 day candidate. So is Joe Kelly whose elbow is still hurting.
During the game, there was a graphic that showed what the Dodgers have done over the last 7 games – Batting Average .345, OPS .991, 50 runs. That is impressive.
For the month of August, the Dodgers are 23-4. The Tampa Bay Rays won 22 in April, and Atlanta won 21 in June. I think there have been 5 teams in the last 40 years that have won 23 games in a single calendar month.
After starting the season 3-5 against Arizona, the Dodgers have now won the last 4 and have won the season series against the DBacks.
The Dodgers bats beat two very good pitchers, and badly. They have now won 9 straight series. On Wednesday, Ryan Pepiot (start or bulk inning reliever) faces Brandon Pfaadt for the sweep.
But the night belonged to Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has now won 209 games as an LAD, and has tied Don Drysdale for 2nd All Time behind Don Sutton’s 233 victories. He now has 2,927 strikeouts closing in on his quest for 3,000. He will not reach it this year. Will he get the 3,000 Ks as a Dodger?